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According to Charlene Harrington, Ph.D. of UCSF, a professor of nursing and sociology, and widely considered an expert on nursing home staffing, the nursing home staffing picture in California isn’t pretty. She has said that there are over 12 million staffing deficiencies in U.S. nursing homes annually, and that approximately one-quarter to one-third of all nursing homes provide substandard care because of problems related to staffing.
Sufficient staffing is the number one indicator of the quality of care one can expect to receive in a nursing home, says Harrington. California requires that a licensed skill nursing facility provide at a minimum of 3.2 hours of nursing, per patient, per day. While this is a minimum standard, most San Diego and other California facilities view it as the goal, striving only to meet it. In fact, care provided by registered nurses has been declining in California, which now has one of the lowest RN per patient, per day ratios in the country.
Harrington says those that view California’s 3.2 hours as more a ceiling than a floor are operating on dangerous footing, emphasizing that 3.2 hours is a minimum requirement. Adequate care for most facilities, she says, requires much more nursing, and believes the law should be changed to require 4.1 hours per patient, per day. Our injury lawyers also support raising the minimum standard.
Ultimately, San Diego facilities that provide more licensed nursing per patient, per day, tend to have fewer problems and a more satisfied patient population.
Our injury lawyers at Walton Law Firm have successfully prosecuted San Diego nursing homes in civil courts for harm to residents due to the failure to provide adequate staffing. If you have questions about care provided to your loved one, please submit your confidential questionnaire online, or call Walton Law Firm for a free and private consultation with an attorney. We can be reached toll free at 866-607-1325 or locally at (760) 607-1325.